10 years since Messi won his first Ballon DOr

10 years since Messi won his first Ballon DOr

Messi and Van Dijk are considered to be the top two contestants to win the Ballon D'Or this year. This time we only saw Karim Benzema shortlisted in the 26th position, clearly the best Real Madrid player during the last months.

Messi also won his sixth FIFA award in September, edging Van Dijk, who missed the chance to become the first defender to top the France Football poll since Italy's World Cup-winning captain, Fabio Cannavaro, in 2006.

"If you give the Ballon d'Or to the best player of this generation then you should give it always to Lionel Messi".

France Football magazine has been awarding the Ballon d'Or since 1956 and created a women's award for the first time past year when Norway's Ada Hegerberg won it. Hegerberg was fourth this time. Messi is expected to win the award after following up a stellar 2018/19 season with ten goals in 13 appearances for Barcelona. What Liverpool have in their favour, however, is that they beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in a historic comeback.

The LaLiga pairing are followed by the cream of the crop from Serie A, with Juventus and AC Milan both boasting eight Ballon d'Or winners to their respective names, while Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich round out the top five with five titles.

It came after a year in which Barca claimed an incredible five-trophy haul, including Champions League and La Liga titles.

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He was among seven Liverpool players nominated, beside goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Already established as one of the all-time greats, the Barcelona number 10 received 41.33 percent of the vote, ahead of Ronaldo with 27.76 percent and Brazilian star Neymar with 7.86 percent.

It was a year after the end of the day for Real Madrid's Luca Montreal, which ended Messi and Ronaldo's rule, but that was the decision that upset Ciellini.

The 2019 Ballon D'Or ceremony will be held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday, December 2 and the event with the official ceremony will start around 19:30 GMT (1:00 AM IST on Tuesday, December 3). "It's going to be tough (to win the award) when these guys are around".

And all the signs are that he's not done yet...

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